Mad World: Evelyn Waugh and the Secrets of Brideshead Paula Byrne (Harper Press, £9.99) Waugh’s legacy has left its mark on Oxford, and we still talk about the university ‘trying to shrug off its Brideshead image’. In this biography of the author, Byrne tells the story of the Lygons of Madresfield, the stately home owners who were the inspiration for Waugh’s Marchmains. Their lives seem to have been even stranger and more tragic than in Waugh’s story. Whether accidentally or on purpose, in the first of the new season of the TV detective series Lewis, the stately home owners were the Mortmaigne family.

Papa Spy Jimmy Burns (Bloomsbury, £9.99) The author’s father, British publisher Tom Burns, was a friend of Waugh’s. They shared a relatively humble background, the Catholic faith, and a fatal attraction for the English aristocracy. This biography focuses on Burns’s time in Madrid during the Second World War as a British press attache and part-time spy. His faith inclined him to back Franco, so he was particularly useful in the battle to keep Spain out of the war, but he didn’t realise that the English upper classes, in the guise of Kim Philby and Anthony Blunt, were trying to discredit him.

Family Britain 1951-57 Davied Kynaston (Bloomsbury, £10.99) After the over-excited reporting following the election, it’s good to be reminded what real instability felt like. At the beginning of the period, Labour had created the welfare state at a time of huge national debt, and at the end came Suez and the invasion of Hungary. Generally, Kynaston lets ordinary people have their say, but the election snippets are particularly enjoyable — “You’ve made the policy very clear, sir,” says a TV interviewer to Anthony Eden. “May I say thank you very much indeed for letting me question you?”

Kisses On A Postcard: A Tale of Wartime Childhood Terence Frisby (Bloomsbury, £7.99) More nostalgia as the seven-year-old Terence leaves the Blitz for a new life as an evacuee in Cornwall. Delightful, including the first taste of candyfloss after the war.